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Jerome, Arizona Travel Guide
Last Updated: Nov-08-2011, Hits: 4,673, Rating: 4.0, Reviews: 1, Votes: 1 Bookmark and Share
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Jerome, Arizona Travel Guide Restaurants (7)
Hotels and Lodging (5)
Bars and Nightlife (4)
Attractions (1)
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Additional Articles (2)
Arizona Travel Forum (1)
Location: North America
Geography: Mountains, Desert
Popularity: Off-the-Beaten Path
Costs: Budget, Moderate
Attractions: Historical Sites, Cultural Attractions, Shopping

Facts and Stats:
City population - 450
Time Zone: Mountain Standard Time - GMT -1 (Do not observe daylight savings).
Telephone Area Code: 928
Country dialing code: 1
Languages: English
Electricity: 120v

Built a mile high on the side of Cleopatra Hill, Jerome was once a thriving copper mining camp that peaked during the 1920's. Shortly after, it turned into a ghost town and today is an artist community and tourist attraction. It is now a great place to spend a day or take a weekend getaway.

Jerome is located in the middle of northern Arizona only 90 miles from Phoenix, 60 miles from Flagstaff, 20 miles from Sedona, 30 miles from Prescott, and 10 miles from Cottonwood. Jerome, sometimes called "America's Most Vertical City", sits 5,200 feet high on Cleopatra Hill offering spectacular views of the desert valley below. Only taking up 0.7`mi2, Jerome is very compact and small.

Brief History:
Jerome was founded in 1876 when three anglo prospectors staked the first claims on rich copper deposits in the area. In fact, this was the largest copper mine in the Arizona territory. The original claim holders sold out to a group which formed the United Verde Copper Company in 1883. The resultant mining camp of board and canvas shacks was named in honor of Eugene Jerome, the venture's principal backer.

Because of the massive wealth being pulled out of the ground here, Jerome grew dramatically and people came from all over the world to find work here. By the 1920's, the town had a population of 15,000 making it the 4th largest city in the territory. This all occurred despite being plagued by repeated fires and landsides.

During the Great Depression, the claim was sold to Phelps Dodge, who still owns it to this day. During WWII demand for copper was high, but after the war, the demand diminished and Phelps eventually closed the mine in 1953. Jerome became the biggest ghost town in the country. Since that time, the town has made a slow comeback. It began when the Douglas Mansion was made a State Park in 1965 and Jerome became a National Historic Landmark in 1976. Since those days, many artists and musicians have made Jerome home turning it into an artist community that has a healthy dose of tourism to keep it running.

The people that live in Jerome are mostly artists as has been mentioned. The people that visit Jerome are one of the most diverse and eclectic crowds that you will see anywhere. A visual sample of the crowd in front of you might produce a Hell's Angel looking biker dude, a well-groomed yuppie, a gay couple, and a family. The community appears to be very liberal and accepting of whoever wants to come share in their little paradise on the hill.

Food & Fun:
About half the buildings in Jerome are shops and the other half are restaurants and bars. There are several different options to choose from, most of which are cafe style restaurants. Be wary that Jerome can get packed and you may have to wait to get into a restaurant. After eating, you might want to do a little shopping. There is a wide range available from affordable souvenirs to expensive art pieces, handmade furniture, and other crafts. Jerome doesn't have much for the night owl. The bars keep pretty busy during the day and early evening, some of them offering live music.

Jerome is very affordable for a day trip or a weekend getaway. There are very few hotels/bed and breakfasts, and they are all reasonably priced as are the restaurants. Most of what you will do in Jerome is walk around and look at the town which doesn't cost anything.

Getting There and Around:
The only way to get to Jerome is to drive. One would most likely reach Jerome via Flagstaff, Phoenix, or possibly Sedona which has a small airport. You don't need to drive around the town as it is too small and crowded with pedestrians at times. You will need to find a parking space which are free, but very difficult to find when it is crowded.

Partially due to its northern location in the state and partially due to its elevation, the temperatures in Jerome are more moderate than much of Arizona. Below are the current weather conditions and monthly averages.

Month Avg High Avg Low Rainfall
January 49 33 1.79
February 54 36 2.12
March 59 39 2.20
April 67 45 1.06
May 76 53 0.70
June 87 63 0.47
July 90 67 2.48
August 87 66 3.03
September 82 61 1.75
October 71 51 1.49
November 58 40 1.45
December 50 34 1.21

Tips and Additional Information:
  • Jerome isn't a place to plan an entire vacation. There just isn't that much to do there, and realistically, you can see the whole town in a couple of hours. It works well as a day trip from Sedona which is better suited for longer stays.
  • There are a lot of "free spirits" in Jerome. There isn't much point in coming if you are intolerant of different types of people as you will miss the charm it exudes.

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    User Reviews (1)

    Reviewed by: sloshed
    Review date: Mar-01-2009

    Like the article says, there really isn't much to see or do in Jerome, however, it is worth a visit if you are on your way somewhere else or just want to get away for a day or 2. There are a handful of good bars, restaurants, and hotels here. 

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